Sex Transm Infect 83:i37-i42 doi:10.1136/sti.2006.023580

Using sexual affiliation networks to describe the sexual structure of a population

  1. Simon D W Frost
  1. Correspondence to:
 Simon D W Frost
 UCSD Antiviral Research Center, 150 W. Washington Street, Suite 100, San Diego, California 92103, USA; sdfrost{at}
  • Accepted 7 May 2007


The structure of sexual networks has a central role in the dynamics of transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to obtain reliable data on sexual contacts between individuals. However, the venues where people recruit sexual partners may provide valuable information on sexual networks. This article reviews how data on “sexual affiliations” between people and venues may be collected, analysed, and used for surveillance and prevention of STIs.


  • SF is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), grant numbers AI36214, AI43638, AI47745, and AI57167, and by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), grant numbers DA17394 and DA19829. Additional institutional support was provided by the State of California Universitywide AIDS Research Program (grant number IS02-SD-701).

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Edited by: Sevgi O Aral and James Blanchard